The Pacific 12 conference was represented at the Convocation Center for the first time Wednesday night by the Oregon State University Beavers as they came away with a five-set win over the Eastern Michigan University Eagles women’s volleyball team, 27-29, 25-21, 25-17, 24-26, 15-10.
“This is a nice center,” Beavers Head Coach Taras Liskevych said. “It’s as nice a gym as we play in. They really took the game to us. I thought it was a very competitive match and we enjoyed playing here.”
The Beavers improved to 4-0 on the year while the Eagles dropped their home-opener and second consecutive match to fall to 2-2.
Junior middle-blocker Amanda Brown led the Beavers offensively with 18 kills and an attack percentage of .469. Beavers senior libero Becky Defoe led the team with 27 digs.
Eastern Michigan University excelled as a team on its serving aces. The team recorded nine to Oregon State University’s three.
“That helped us all night long,” Eagles head coach Kim Berrington said.
Leading offensively for the Eagles was sophomore outside-hitter Stacey Perinar with 16 kills and 18 points. Senior outside-hitters Paige Roback and Erin Short and redshirt sophomore middle blocker Kelsey Jones helped offensively as well with 12, 10 and 7 kills, respectively.
“I feel like they did really well trying to find the holes,” Perinar said. “They were definitely taking the leadership roles out there.”
Redshirt junior setter Tayla Woods led the Beavers in assists with 57 and topped the Eagles’ setters— sophomore Alyssa Davis and junior Jill Briner, who combined for 47.
The Eagles trailed early in the first set until a kill by Roback gave them a 5-4 lead. After two lead changes later in the set, Berrington called a timeout when the Beavers took a 25-24 lead.
“They had a 6’5” blocker and there were some times where we set right into her,” Berrington said. “They were flip-flopping her on sides so we just talked about matchups and getting our hands on [their] side of the net.”
A kill by junior middle-blocker Megan Crawshaw set by Davis gave the Eagles a 29-27 first set victory.
EMU got off to an early lead in the second set and kept that lead until a serving ace by Oregon State University freshman defensive specialist Sydney Francis followed by a kill by junior middle blocker Arica Nassar tied, then gave the Beavers a 19-18 set lead.
The Beavers took 13 of the last 16 points in the set to seal a 25-21 victory and tie the match at one set each.
“I thought we let off the gas serving,” Berrington said. “We served really easy and when we served easy they had a good pass and ran our offense down our throat.”
After the Beavers took the third set 25-17, the Eagles responded and took a 16-10 lead in the fourth. However, they watched their lead chip away later in the set.
The Beavers capitalized on two Eagles offensive miscues and tied the set at 24 with a block by Nassar. The Eagles answered with a kill by Short topped off with a block shared by Jones and Roback to take the next two points and the match, 26-24.
The Eagles saw an early 2-1 lead in the fifth set quickly vanish after Oregon State University redshirt junior outside hitter Laura Schaudt spiked a kill after a long rally and gave the Beavers a 3-2 lead.
A pair of blocks highlighted by a shared block between Jones and Perinar tied the set at eight all. The Beavers tallied the next three points, one of them which was an out-of-bounds call questioned by the Eagles bench and the fans.
“The linesman jumped back and the ball landed in front of her feet, which meant it was out,” Berrington said.
Berrington was given a yellow card for arguing the call with the official.
“When I get fired up, my team gets fired up, so I was trying to give [the team] some momentum,” Berrington said.
However, the momentum did not carry all the way through the rest
of the match as the Beavers outscored the Eagles 4-2 on the last six points to win the fifth set 15-10 and the match 3-2.
Eastern Michigan University will travel down to Valparaiso, IN this Friday for a weekend tournament involving Valparaiso University, Army, and the University of Iowa. The team comes home for a match against Oakland University at the Convocation Center on Tues. Sept. 10 at 7 p.m.